Chairman’s Message by Bob Port

Now that the flurry of committee meetings, networking events and technical discussions of the IIAR conference has ended and we’re all back at work, it’s time to set some new goals and carry the momentum of our recent meeting into the rest of the year.

At headquarters, that means everyone is working hard to make sure our recent leadership transition is going smoothly. As your new chairman, my first priority this year is to welcome our new president, Dave Rule and make sure our staff is well situated under his leadership.

In any transition, the potential exists for something to fall through the cracks, but Dave and your staff are enthusiastically working to make sure that doesn’t happen as they prioritize new projects and carry forward the work that’s already been done.

As Bruce Badger steps down from his staff leadership position, he’s leaving big shoes for all of us to fill. In the international arena, IIAR has established close ties with organizations in India and China. We’ll continue to foster communication with all our international partners while at the same time looking for new opportunities to grow as a presence on the global stage.

We’ll also be focused on the work of our committees this year, especially government relations, where we’ve started to build relationships on behalf of our industry, carrying the torch on initiatives with the Department of Homeland Security, EPA, OSHA and many other government organizations. Additionally, the work of the CO2 Committee will receive my full attention as your Chairman, as we finalize and publish the CO2 Handbook by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, two interesting projects with the potential to expand IIAR’s reach will also have my attention this year. First, I’d like to explore how we work with, interact and leverage relationships that already exist in Washington to enhance our government relations efforts on behalf of our industry. Many of our member companies have a strong lobbying presence that would be beneficial to IIAR. How we learn as an organization to support the existing efforts of end-user and other members in this arena will determine how effective we are in our government relations efforts. I’d welcome any communication, suggestions or offers of support on this initiative.

My second project this year will be to explore ways to use the vast technical resources of our industry to bring insurance company guidelines and recommendations more in line with current code.

I view these projects, and my tenure as your Chairman as parts of a new phase of IIAR leadership. As we begin this new phase together, I hope you feel free to contribute with the new ideas and level of participation that has become the hallmark of this group.

Speaking of participation, no postconference Chairman’s column would be complete without giving recognition to the outpouring of support and recordbreaking attendance of IIAR members.

This year was one of our best conferences yet. The packed technical paper sessions, workshops and technomercials were the usual highlights of our annual meeting, as well as the exhibit hall, which was crowded this year with a record-breaking number of exhibitors and sponsors, representing manufacturers, service providers and educational organizations.

While it’s hard to turn our attention away from all the excitement of our most recent conference, it’s time to start thinking about how to use that renewed enthusiasm in the coming year to strengthen IIAR’s member presence and plan for our next event.

The IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition, Heavy Equipment Show will be held March 23 – 26 in Nashville, Tennessee. If you have a Technical Paper or a workshop that you would like to present in Nashville, please contact Eric Smith at IIAR headquarters to submit your abstract as soon as possible (turn to page 20 for more information). Technical Paper and session topics are the fabric of IIAR meetings, and will be selected quickly to allow presenters plenty of time to prepare their presentation.

I’m looking forward to accomplishing several goals as your Chairman this year. As members, your ongoing work and participation make all of our activities possible. Thank you for continuing to enrich our industry with your support.